Dr. Dilantha Fernando is a Dean, professor and plant pathologist at the University of Manitoba. In 2019, Dilantha was elected a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. Dilantha was awarded the highest award from the Canadian Phytopathological Society in 2020—the CPS Award for Outstanding Research. He also received an award for exemplary research towards sustainable agriculture in 2019 from the International PGPR Community. He is the current immediate Past-President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society.

Dr. Fernando is a world authority on host-pathogen interaction studies and works mainly on canola and wheat diseases and developing sustainable disease management strategies to reduce crop pathogens through conventional and molecular approaches. He received his first degree from the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, his Masters in Microbiology from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and his PhD in plant pathology from Oregon State University.

He is a featured keynote or invited speaker at many international conferences (100 invited/keynote talks). Dr. Fernando has been internationally recognized with awards for excellence in research, teaching and service. He has published 165 peer reviewed papers and 14 book chapters. He has developed 38 canola cultivars with his co-developers. Dr. Fernando has trained over 75 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists at UM and another 68 undergraduate students. He is an editor of six international journals and editor-in-chief of one.